Suing over hurt feelings

By The Pennsylvania Record | Jan 22, 2019


It hurts to not be wanted, but if you’re picked last for dodgeball or if your crush says no to a date, there are methods for dealing with rejection. 

Some share their feelings with a friend, while others eat ice cream alone.

Certainly, there are better places to nurse your bruised ego than a federal courthouse. You might be looking for a sympathetic ear but instead find someone like Philadelphia judge Gerald McHugh.

Judges have no patience for lawsuits that waste their time, and McHugh was recently forced to dish out some tough love to Mary Steffey, a woman who was fired from a volunteer job and retaliated by suing a nonprofit school.


Steffey was named to the board of trustees at the Agora Cyber Charter School in King of Prussia in 2009 and was guaranteed three years in the non-paying position. She served those years and several others before the situation apparently became disagreeable to the school, which removed her from the board in 2016.

Rather than accept rejection, she found Jenkintown attorney Geoffrey Johnson and they pursued a wrongful termination lawsuit filed last year.

Steffey’s lawsuit claimed she had a “property interest” in the position. A novel idea, though McHugh found it had no basis in law. It’s impossible for her to prove she’s lost something since she’s never been paid anything, he said. The claim was dismissed.

Her lawsuit also alleged that future employment prospects were harmed by being removed from the position. That claim also was dismissed. 

Another rejection to suffer through, one could surmise.

Want to get notified whenever we write about U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ?

Sign-up Next time we write about U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

Organizations in this Story

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

More News

The Record Network